Dear Gavin Williamson,
I am delighted that a new secretary of state for education was not just educated within the state system but attended a comprehensive school. I hope this will give you insight and empathy in your dealings with students, teachers, teaching assistants, school-workers and parents involved in this sector. You will have heard by now of problems concerning cuts, in particular in the area of special needs provision, and when you compare the situation now with what was available in your time at school, it must horrify you. Michael Rosen, broadcaster and author of children’s books writes in The Guardian.
I confess I was concerned that you’ve taken on a job in an area that up until now hasn’t interested you. Looking through your Wikipedia entry, you seem to have focused so far on fireplaces, chinaware, Northern Ireland, car boot sales and aircraft carriers. These are all fascinating areas but for the moment I don’t see a direct link to education. Do you think it would be a good idea if the person in charge of education had expertise in such matters as how young people learn, or what it actually means to assess what a student knows, or which education systems in the world deliver the fairest outcomes for all?
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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